GRIEF

by Andrew Holleran | Religion & Spirituality |
ISBN: 1401308945 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingBooksandMusicwing of Seattle, Washington USA on 9/17/2014
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingBooksandMusicwing from Seattle, Washington USA on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
A lonely middle-aged gay man has cared for his aging mother for years. Now she has died and the man is alone and bereaved. A friend suggests he take a temporary job in D.C. and rent a room from a friend of the friend. The man he will rent from is also a middle aged gay man. So this plan goes forward and nothing else happens except discussions of grief, loneliness, responsibility to the living and the dead. Our main character is in a Washington D.C. that seems empty and he walks around a great deal, going to museums. He lives in a world of near silence. It seems like he is reaching for a closer relationship with the man he is renting from but nothing develops. Middle aged men don't seem to be attracted to each other, they want younger men. The renter snoops in his landlord's private rooms and makes friends with the landlord's dog, letting it out when the landlord is not around.
Eventually our main character goes back home, the end.
What I did like about this book is the concurrent reading, by the main character, of "Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters by Justin and Linda Levitt Turner. That was fascinating and I would like to read that book. There were also some good insights into grief such as, "...grief is what you have after someone you love dies. It's the only thing left of that person. Your love for, your missing, them. As long as you have that, you're not alone - you have them."
That is very true; how I resented anyone who tried to help me "get over" my grief. I felt like they were trying to take my son away from me again.

Journal Entry 2 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I am putting this book into bookstogive's Lit/Fic VBB.

Journal Entry 3 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Friday, April 24, 2015
This book was not chosen so it is going out in the Alphabet Bookbox as a letter "G" book.

Journal Entry 4 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Friday, April 24, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (4/25/2015 UTC) at Seattle, Washington USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Released into the Alphabet Bookbox to replace a "G" book that I took.

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, May 01, 2015
I'm claiming this softcover from the A-to-Z bookbox. I've enjoyed a couple of Halloran's other works.

Later: This was a beautiful, poignant, involving story, and while it's fiction it clearly draws on some very real emotions. Love, loss, regret, aimlessness - and obsession, as when the narrator gets caught up in the biography of Lincoln's widow. (I found myself wanting to learn more about *her* as a result of reading this book!)

I liked the way the narrator revealed his own feelings - to the degree that he did, anyway - by his observations of external things; the mood that's conveyed by his wanderings, his reaction to his landlord, the dog, the neighbors, all focuses his own sense of loss and isolation. There are moments of relief here and there, such as the wonderful passage "What is better than reading in the same room or same house with someone at night?" - but even that leads to his realization that however cozy that particular moment may be, he's still just a boarder, not really a part of his landlord's life.

Some aspects of the story hit close to home, from procrastination ("...why does it matter if the roof leaks? I'm not worth a roof") to concerns about elderly loved ones, but depicted and expressed with a lyrical melancholy that's perhaps a bit too compelling. I was pleased at the moments of tart humor here and there, as a reminder that life does - should - go on...

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 06, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (7/7/2015 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm adding this book to the LGBTQIA bookbox, which will be on its way again on Tuesday. Hope someone enjoys this book!

*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2015 Allergic to A challenge. ***

Journal Entry 7 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Picked this out of the bookbox, thanks!

Wonderful book. A long tone poem on loss, despair and the need to pick up the threads of life. As the book ends, the narrator realizes that running away from the old does not settle the ghosts, it only makes them colder....

Journal Entry 8 by quietorchid at Lion's Pavilion in Balaton, Minnesota USA on Friday, August 07, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (8/6/2015 UTC) at Lion's Pavilion in Balaton, Minnesota USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left on the picnic table to find a new reader!
Released as #79 in 52 Towns in 52 Weeks Challenge 2015 .

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